Extinction of the Butthurt Filipino

This was supposed to be a presentation for a career guidance event at my nerd high school, since the event is postponed, I’ll just share this here for now. The PPT is still WIP anyway.

Again, if this post offends you then take the time to prove me wrong.

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

butt·hurt /ˈbətˌhərt/
adjective: butthurt; adjective: butt-hurt

  • overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful.
    “they’re all butthurt that she released the album online first”

noun: butthurt; noun: butt-hurt

  • an excessive or unjustifiable feeling of personal offense or resentment.
    “it’s time to get over the butthurt from last year’s playoffs”

Are we masters of our emotions, or do they enslave us? The big idea is a paradigm shift, a shift in mindset which moves us from an emerging economy into a high-income country, more economically developed country.

Is our intrinsic emotionality holding us back?

If you’ve ever been in a top-level management position, business owner, or the random white-face (foreigner) working in the Philippines, I’m sure you’ve encountered these situations to some degree:

  • Sat back in confused silence as an employee or co-worker cries because you said something that hurt their feelings. At some point they fully avoid the conversation or walk out.
  • Received a novel-length response, a few days too late, that the aforementioned deadline/schedule wasn’t met because of some personal/family/community crisis.
  • Been bullied, usually behind your back, by employees/officemates who couldn’t muster the strength to discuss the issues face to face.
  • Had one of your employees disappear without any communication.

Not to say that personal crises are invalid, but the wish is this: communicating the issues, instead of withdrawing, could have prevented misunderstandings from turning into full-blown disasters. It’s often these full-blown disasters that not only damage companies but families, relationships, communities, and various organizations as well. Our inability to tackle difficult conversations continues to limit Filipinos from reaching our greatest potentials.

All of the above circumstances could have been easily mitigated, and solutions could have been made, if both parties were willing to engage in difficult, but quintessential feedback, and communication. And as most managers, or c-level executives may have been thinking at that moment: If only that person had told me what the real issues were instead of withdrawing/crying/walking out/disappearing and blocking all communications.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In the grand scheme of things, the path to success is not a path, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. And those who best manage their emotions will win. In bisaya, we have an expression that goes: Pildi and pikon. Roughly translated, it means: if you’re butthurt, you lose.

Do we, as a race, fail to encourage emotional strength, and resilience? The kind that not only nurtures entrepreneurial mindsets but prepares us for the mental, physical, and emotional requirements of growing businesses, and doing what it takes to survive, and thrive.

Do we, as a race, lack the mental and emotional bandwidth to accept criticism, and constructively work towards improvement? Or are the fundamental channels for development, whether from parenting, community, or education, failing to address the need for learning personal means and ways for emotional separation?

Are we the social media capital of the world because it feeds into our never-ending need for constant validation? How do we as parents, teachers, community leaders, policy-makers enable a revitalized Filipino culture of emotional rigor which dives deep into emotional honesty, humility, persistence, and flexibility?

I’m already expecting emotionally charged reactions, should this idea be shared. Which is part of the reason why it took me a while to put this idea into words. But in response to the emotional reactions, I would also like to challenge us, as a part of the Filipino race with a question: can you work towards proving me wrong?

I would love to see a future where I’m utterly disproved.

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